Lack of professionals ahead

Workplace bands have forced the closure of almost 1000 beds.

Kelly Burke Trends predict Australia will face serious shortages in the health, education and engineering.

Small business sales beat expectations


Sales by small businesses over the all-important Christmas period were better than expected, with mineral-rich WA leading the way.

Tills quiet at department stores

While retail figures are on the improve, spending in department stores is on the slide.

Clancy Yeates Spending at department stores slumps to its lowest in two years, as spending on food and cafes jumps.

10 shops with a difference

Deyrolle taxidermy shop in France.

A travel website has compiled a list of the world's weirdest places to part with your cash.

Michael Baker

Why salespeople are being pushed aside

Next thing you know, the mannequins will be taking over.

Michael Baker How magic hangers and other technology is changing the role of the traditional sales assistant.

Business surveys at odds


Peter Martin Research into whether conditions have hit rock bottom is stunningly inconclusive.


Australian fashion raises the barbell


Michael Baker In his mid-80s classic hit You Can Call Me Al, Paul Simon sings about a man walking down the street asking himself: “Why am I soft in the middle? The rest of my life is so hard.”

Forget coupons, social gifting is the new top dog


Last year, the buzzword in e-commerce was Groupon Inc and its myriad of competitors that offered daily online coupons to entice shoppers in a down economy.


Independent retail growing again

AFR photo

Michael Baker The independent retail sector continued to steady in March at trading levels well above those experienced during the last Christmas shopping season.

Christmas online rush a 'learning process': Australia Post

Australia Post says the online Christmas rush was a 'learning process' for the entire industry.

Larissa Ham After a Christmas delivery season that broke all records, Australia Post has defended itself against claims of poor standards and parcels failing to arrive in time.

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Michael Baker

Fast fashion: barracudas make way for the sharks


Michael Baker A new report on the impending entry of global fashion retailers into Australia will not make pleasant fireside reading for many domestic retailers this winter.


The top 5 cities for retail inspiration

Get inspired.

Michael Baker It's important to seek ideas outside the island occasionally. Here's where you can get the best bang for your educational buck.

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Small business sales up but retail remains weak

Small business sales increased in May, but retail continued to suffer the weakest growth of all sectors.

Welcome in the middle


Clancy Yeates Confidence among medium-size companies has edged up in recent months, and the sector continues to remain more optimistic than big and small business, a new report says.

Michael Baker

Hope yet for retailers


Michael Baker Income growth and low unemployment suggest Christmas could bring the gifts retailers want.

Michael Baker

Is the clash of the two supermarket titans over?

Supermarket titans.

Michael Baker Expanding capacity in the supermarket sector over the next few years may intensify competition and pressure margins at all food retailers.